In a very positive development, particularly in light of my recent struggles with American Airlines, United Airlines will now charge a reasonable flat rate for international infant award tickets depending upon region and cabin of service.
Flat Rate Pricing For International Infant Award Tickets On United Airlines
Traditionally, airlines have charged 10% of current revenue fare for adding an infant lap child on international award tickets. Since one-way international pricing is often more than round-trip, this created situations in which one-way tickets could run over $2,000 just for the pleasure of being able to hold your infant in your lap in a business or first class cabin.
Other carriers, like Aeroplan, have corrected this absurdity by offering infant tickets at a flat rate (in the case of Aeroplan, 40CAD regardless of route or class of service). While U.S. airlines have not followed until now, United Airlines recently introduced flat rate pricing based upon zone and class for infant awards.
Very quietly, United updated its infant ticketing guidelines for award reservations. United will now charge between $20 and $250 (plus tax) for infant fares, depending upon area of travel and class of service.
Infants traveling without a seat between the U.S. and Canada, or from Mexico to the U.S. or Canada, only pay taxes on the ticket. Infants traveling without a seat to other international destinations, including Guam, are required to have purchased an infant ticket and are subject to infant fares between $20 and $250 plus taxes depending on area of travel and cabin of service.
I asked United a week ago for a chart with pricing based upon routes and class of service and followed up twice, but received no further information. I did speak to a reservations agents who referenced a January 29th memo announcing flat pricing.
International lap infant award tickets booked before January 28th or reissued after January 28th and keeping same itinerary are not affected by this change. But award tickets requiring a reissue will follow the new fee structure.
The new process is also automated, saving a call to the rates desk in order to calculate and store the international infant fare. Infant tickets can be booked on united.com.
International infant ticket prices on award will now be capped at $250 plus tax. Infant fares on revenue tickets (including upgrades) will remain 10% of the current fare of the cabin seated in. This is a positive development and hopefully something American and Delta will follow. If you are holding an infant award ticket that costs more than $250, you may want to deliberately re-issue your award ticket. It could mean substantial savings…
Will you take advantage of United Airlines international infant award tickets with the new flat-rate pricing?